When Dora Melinda Jefferson was born on 21 October 1884, in Thayer, Nebraska, United States, her father, Iverson Alverian “Iva” Jefferson, was 30 and her mother, Sarah Jane Davenport, was 26. She married Boliver Lewis Light on 9 December 1903, in Washington, Kansas, United States. They were the parents of at least 4 sons and 3 daughters. She lived in Munden, Republic, Kansas, United States in 1935 and Rose Creek Township, Republic, Kansas, United States in 1940. She died on 12 April 1943, in Richmond, Contra Costa, California, United States, at the age of 58, and was buried in Ida Cemetery, Munden, Republic, Kansas, United States.
English (northern): patronymic from the Middle English personal name Geffrey or Jeffray (see Jeffrey ) + -son. In the late medieval period Geffreyson was increasingly pronounced Jeffrason, with shortening of the diphthong to a simple vowel, which was later commonly altered to Gefferson and Jefferson, with metathesis of -r- and this shortened vowel. In North America, this surname became especially common among African Americans (see 2 below).
African American: from the personal name Jefferson (or Thomas Jefferson), adopted in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd president of the US; or adoption of the surname in 1 above, in most cases probably for the same reason.
History: The third US president, author of the Declaration of Independence, and VA statesman Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) relates in his memoirs a family tradition that he was descended from Welsh stock on his father's side, while noting the relative infrequency of the name Jefferson in Wales. It is a characteristically northern English name. — A Jefferson was among the burgesses who attended the first representative assembly at Jamestown, VA, in 1619.
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